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Activists slam Delhi govt’s education model, say merger of schools harmed quality- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Criticizing the Delhi government’s education model, the Joint Forum for Movement on Education (JFME) claimed hundreds of government schools have been merged in Delhi. During a press conference at the Press Club of India on Thursday, the activists raised several issues arising from the merger of schools.

According to the JFME, after announcing the draft national education policy in 2019, the AAP-led government of Delhi began merging 92 schools. Thirteen government schools were merged in January 2022 and 32 schools were merged in April, said Sharda Dikshit, joint secretary of the All India Save Education Committee (Delhi).

The speakers said the merger of schools had directly affected the quality of the school and threatened the livelihoods of thousands of visiting teachers. Dharmapal (41), a parent whose children’s education was affected after the merger, said: “There are no proper seating arrangements and the classrooms usually remain overcrowded.”

The students have to compete for basic amenities such as drinking water and sports equipment. The JFME said the Shaheed Amirchand Sarvodaya Co-Ed School on Shyamnath Marg, for 2,000 students, has been merged with the Shaheed Bal Mukund Sarvodaya Co-Ed School on Shankaracharya Marg, which already had 2,500 students.

“Overcrowding and indiscipline have increased to such an extent that many parents have had to withdraw their daughters,” said JFME president Nandita Narain. The forum also claimed that the situation in northeast Delhi is so bad that classes are being held in two shifts.

It added that even in this short period, the emphasis is more on the curricula for happiness and Deshbhakti rather than the academic study. Professor Anita Aggarwal claimed that government teachers are also being pressured not to talk about this issue or they would face backlash from higher authorities.

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